Alan Pardew felt Palace lacked that killer ball in the final third against Sunderland, stating that his side were not incisive enough in defeat at home to the Black Cats.
Sunderland executed their game plan perfectly, defending everything the Eagles threw at them before capitalising on a rare mistake at the back to score the only goal of the match late on. Palace had peppered Costel Pantilimon's goal, but were unable to find an opener or - later - an equaliser.
"You’ve got to win a game of football to go sixth," he said after the game. "We over did it a couple of times tonight. We should have been a bit more simplistic and put pressure on that back five.
"In a way it’s a compliment that teams are going to put five at the back and three on top of that. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a way through tonight.
"We should have been cleaner and more incisive, especially in the final third," he added.
The silver lining to the narrow defeat at Selhurst Park was that Connor Wickham started his first Premier League game since August, whilst Marouane Chamakh appeared from the bench to wear the red and blue competitively for the first time since May.
"It was Connor’s first [start] back today and he was maybe lacking a bit of sharpness," said Pardew. "But he has another chance on Saturday to see if he can get back to it.
"Chamakh is a player that you sense is going to be important, but it may have been a game too soon for him.
"He hasn’t had a lot of game time. I’m not sure about a start on Saturday, but he has that class and quality to make a difference."
You can hear more from Alan Pardew's post-match HERE.